The Chicago Bears season is barely underway and they may have already lost their first round draft pick for the season. It’s not the ideal way for new head coach John Fox to begin his tenure.
Jay Cutler has thrown 93 interceptions in 82 games in Chicago. Hopefully new offensive coordinator Adam Gase can implement a system to help guide Cutler away from throwing so many picks. It will be a huge undertaking since all those who tried, have failed.
The Bears made some nice additions to their defense this offseason. Pernell McPhee and Antrel Rolle are upgrades at their positions. Can the defense step up and live up to the proud tradition of stout defenses in Chicago?
Here is the 2015 NFL team preview for the Chicago Bears.
2014 Win/Loss Record: 5-11
Key Additions: WR Eddie Royal, LB Pernell McPhee, RB Jacquizz Rodgers, TE Bear Pascoe, G Vlad Ducasse, S Antrel Rolle, C Will Montgomery, DE Jarvis Jenkins, DE Sam Acho, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Tracy Porter, ILB Mason Foster &CB Alan Ball
Key Losses: CB Charles Johnson, WR Brandon Marshall, OLB Lance Briggs, C Robert Garza, OLB D.J. Williams, C Brian De La Puente, DE Stephen Paea, S Chris Conte, OLB Jonathan Brown, WR Josh Morgan, S Danny McCray, OLB Darryl Sharpton, S Anthony Walters & TE Jacob Maxwell
2015 Draft Picks: WR Kevin White, DT Eddie Goldman, C Hroniss Grasu, RB Jeremy Langford, S Adrian Amos & OT Tayo Fabuluje
Non-Division Schedule: AFC West, NFC West & (Washington/Tampa Bay)
Fantasy Sleeper: WR Eddie Royal – I admit, Royal is a borderline sleeper since he’s a known quantity. He also played with Jay Cutler in his rookie year in Denver and caught 91 passes for 980 yards. They clearly have chemistry. Rookie Kevin White might miss the entire season with a stress fracture in his shin and Brandon Marshall is no longer in Chicago. Alshon Jeffery will often be double-teamed, so there’s a need for Royal. New offensive coordinator Adam Gase has been very friendly to slot receivers in the past. Royal is only a sleeper because I believe he could have a big year and you can score him late in the draft.
Offense – QB Jay Cutler, RB Matt Forte, WR Alshon Jeffery, WR Eddie Royal, WR Marquess Wilson, TE Martellus Bennett, LT Jermon Bushrod, LG Matt Slauson, C Will Montgomery, RG Kyle Long & RT Jordan Mills
Defense – DE Ego Ferguson, DT Jeremish Rafliff, DE Jarvis Jenkins, LOLB Jared Allen, ILB Mason Foster, ILB Christian Jones, ROLB Pernell McPhee, CB Kyle Fuller, CB Alan Ball, SS Antrel Rolle & FS Ryan Mundy
Team Analysis: The Chicago Bears are a team in transition. They kicked former head coach Marc Trestman to the curb and hired John Fox. He brings a winning pedigree with him, but this will be Jay Cutler’s one millionth coach in his many years (I’m slightly exaggerating). In order for Chicago to succeed, they will need Cutler to once again be a 4,000 yard passer and their once-dominant defense needs to show up. Getting rid of Chris Conte and signing Pernell McPhee was a start, but they will be a long way from being dominant. The NFC North will be one of the best divisions in football this season. Chicago aren’t on the same level as the rest of the division. Fox will have a rough start to his tenure as head coach in Chicago.
2015 Wins Over/Under Line: 7 (Prediction: UNDER)
2015 Projected Win/Loss Record: 5-11 (4th in NFC North)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.